On July 17, the fourth anniversary of the TWA 800 tragedy, Michael Wire and Dwight Brumley, two key eyewitnesses representing the TWA Eyewitness Alliance (TWAEA), participated in a news conference in Washington. They were joined by three independent investigators of the crash, Cmdr. William S. Donaldson, representing the Associated Retired Aviation Professionals (ARAP), Dr. Thomas Stalcup, chairman of the Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization (FIRO) and James D. Sanders, author of The Downing of TWA Flight 800 and Altered Evidence. Mrs. Marjorie Gross, who lost a brother and ten good friends in the accident, also participated. Mrs. Gross, Cmdr. Donaldson, Dr. Stalcup and James Sanders all support TWAEA’s demand that the government listen to the eyewitnesses.
Many TWA 800 eyewitnesses are upset at the way the government has ignored their evidence. It has even spent a lot of time and money to discredit all who said they saw what may have been a missile. The CIA produced a video that claims that no eyewitness actually saw a streak of light moving toward the airplane just before it blew up. The CIA claims that what they saw was the plane with its nose blown off by a fuel-tank explosion, climbing 3,000 feet before plunging into the sea. This video was shown at the news conference held on Nov. 18, 1997, where James J. Kallstrom announced that the FBI was suspending its criminal investigation. It was shown live on TV and portions were shown on the network evening news shows.
The CIA Explains Its Video
A CIA analyst briefed the NTSB witness group last year on the origins of this video. The NTSB recently released 755 FBI eye-witness interview reports, and a transcript of the CIA briefing was attached as Appendix FF. The CIA analyst explained how he decided that all the eyewitnesses who thought they had seen a missile shoot down the plane were mistaken. He said he had been trying to figure out what the streak of light that 260 people said they saw could have been. He didn’t explain why they had rejected the simplest and most plausible answer, that it was a missile. The CIA analyst said that at 10 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2000, it dawned on him “that you can explain what the eyewitnesses are seeing with only the burning aircraft.”(Appendix FF, p. 79) That began the effort to discredit all who say they saw a missile.
He supported that claim with references to the statements made to the FBI by Michael Wire and Dwight Brumley, the two eyewitnesses who represented TWAEA at the April 17 news conference where Wire said he had seen nothing that would support the claims made in the CIA video. He told the FBI that he saw what he thought was “a cheap firework” that zigzagged as it ascended from behind a house and then leveled off and sped ten miles out to sea. It culminated in an explosion so strong that it shook the 70-ton bridge on which he stood. How could the CIA make this the basis for their claim that the streak of light seen by hundreds of people was a plane trailing burning fuel?
Misuse Of Dwight Brumley’s Evidence
Sitting in a window seat on USAir Flight 217 heading north to Providence, Rhode Island, Navy Master Chief Dwight Brumley noticed a bright light going north at a high speed at lower altitude. Seconds later TWA 800, which was going east, exploded three nautical miles in front of USAir Flight 217 and 8,000 feet below it. Brumley saw the explosion, but he had not seen the plane. The passenger in the window seat behind him, a Mr. Nugent, told him that he had seen the cabin lights of the plane before it blew up. Obviously the light Brumley saw streaking due north was not TWA Flight 800 going east, minus its nose and trailing burning fuel as it plummeted into the ocean.
In briefing the NTSB witness group, the CIA analyst misused Brumley’s statement to make it appear that it supported his theory. He said, “You have an eyewitness on a plane, on a USAir flight, who describes seeing an airplane fly below him about 10 seconds before he sees this light in the sky. Now you can go back and use the radar data and indeed there is a plane that flies below him. And 10 seconds after, 12 seconds after that happens, Flight 800 explodes. And it explodes in a part of the sky where he says he sees this white light appear. So now you have an independent corroboration with the guy on the bridge. I think this gentleman upon USAir Flight 217 is another excellent eyewitness in that he saw things happen near the very beginning.” (Appendix FF, p. 82)
Robert Young, representing TWA, reminded the CIA analyst that there was another witness on the USAir plane. The analyst acknowledged this, saying that Brumley was seated in seat 5-F and that there was another eyewitness behind him in 6-F. Since he remembered those details, it is unlikely that he forgot that.
Brumley had first seen the fast moving light below and to the rear of USAir 217 and had said that it was going north. Nor is it likely that he forgot that Mr. Nugent, the eyewitness in seat 6-F, said he had seen the cabin lights of Flight 800 just before it blew up. Their statements disproved the CIA claim that all who thought they saw streaks of light preceding the explosion had seen only TWA 800 trailing burning fuel.
Before Young could mention these embarrassing omissions, the chairman of the group intervened with a comment suggesting that the analyst could not be expected to remember all the details, an excuse that the analyst quickly embraced.
Misuse Of Michael Wire’s Evidence
Dennis Rodriguez, a member of the witness group representing Boeing, had commented earlier, “The video…in effect says that what the eyewitnesses saw was the crippled airplane, after the nose comes off, climbing. So that’s the streak of light they’re reporting.” The analyst replied, “That is something that a few eyewitnesses saw. The guy on the bridge (Michael Wire) saw that. We suspect the individual on the USAIR flight looking down (Dwight Brumley) saw that, saw it at the beginning.”
Later, again prodded by Rodriguez, the CIA analyst said this about Michael Wire: “He was an important witness to us. And we asked the FBI to talk to him again, and they did. In his original description, he thought he had seen a firework and that perhaps that firework had originated on the beach behind the house. We went to that location and realized that if he was only seeing the airplane, that he would not see a light appear from behind the rooftop of that house. The light would actually appear in the sky. It’s high enough in the sky that that would have to happen. When he was reinterviewed that is indeed what happened. The light did appear in the sky. Now when the FBI told us that, we got even more comfortable with our theory. He… was asked to describe how high in the sky above the house he thought that light appeared, and he said ..if you imagine a flag pole on top of the house it would be as if it were on the…tip of the flag pole.” (Appendix FF p. 51)
What Wire Told The FBI
That is not what Wire told the FBI. The report of their first interview on July 23, 2000, said: “At approximately 8:45 p.m. Wire saw what appeared to be cheap fireworks coming off the beach about 4 or 5 houses west of the bridge. Wire described this one firework as a white spark (meteor) that went up and arched across the sky. A short time later (seconds later) Wire observed an orange fireball in the sky to the south of the bridge. The fireball fell out of the sky. The firework that Wire had previously observed was traveling in the direction of the fireball. Seconds after observing the fireball, Wire heard and felt one explosion, then three other explosions, for a total of four.”
The report of the second interview on July 29 said: “Wire saw a white light that was traveling skyward from the ground at approximately a 40 degree angle. Wire described the light as a light that sparkled and thought it was some type of fireworks. Wire stated the white light ‘zigzagged’ as it traveled upward and at the apex of its travel, the white light ‘arched over’ and disappeared from view. Wire estimated the white light was in view for approximately 15 seconds and its speed was consistent with the speed that normal fireworks might travel. Wire advised the white light first came into view just above the roof top of the fourth house west of the public parking area on Dune road.” Contrary to what the CIA analyst said, to this day Wire says he saw the “firework” come up from behind the house.
The CIA claimed that Mike Wire saw the plane climbing three thousand feet after its nose was blown off. Wire says that is false. He said the fireball he saw plummeted. It did not ascend. He believes that what he saw was a missile that caused the crash. The CIA briefer said Wire “was an important eyewitness to us,” but they never spoke to him. At the news conference, Wire said he had seen the CIA video simulation, and it bore no resemblance to what he had told the FBI. When reporters asked the CIA about this, they changed their story, claiming that their video was based on many eyewitness statements.
Robert Young, the TWA representative, was not satisfied with the CIA’s theory. He said, “Some of the witnesses seem to be very precise about a white light ascending from a surface, and that’s why we keep bringing up this question, because it’s going to be a question we have to answer.” Boeing’s Rodriguez was also skeptical. He said, “I guess you used one or two witnesses, the one on the bridge (Wire) as prime, but the question in our minds is what are the rest of the people seeing if it’s a later event like you’re saying. I mean what are they physically seeing ascending?”
CIA Can’t Answer The Questions
The CIA analyst replied, “It’s not important what our opinion would be on that. We’ve speculated about that sort of thing among ourselves. It’s not important in terms of interpreting whether or not a missile was involved. It’s fire. It’s probably burning fuel.”
When Rodriguez said, “That’s what we’re trying to understand, setting a missile aside,” Dr. Bernard Loeb, director of the NTSB’s Aviation Safety Office, made this amazingly candid confession: “I think you’re asking them something they haven’t done, they haven’t worked on. They cannot answer the questions. I think CIA analyst #1 was very clear about that earlier. And I think that’s left for us in the end. That’s going to be something the board has to grapple with, Dennis, in its own analysis.” (Appendix FF pp. 69-70)
The analyst confirmed that he couldn’t answer the question, saying, “If an eyewitness describes a streak of light that culminates in an explosion and then immediately you have two fireballs drop to the surface, we’re confident that that streak of light was the burning airplane. Now, your question is why did some eyewitnesses describe that streak of light as something that ascends right off the ocean’s surface. We don’t know why they described it that way. We are confident what they are seeing is the burning aircraft and only the burning aircraft.”
He claimed that Dwight Brumley and Michael Wire provided the basis for that confidence. (Appendix FF p. 82) Brumley saw the moving light in the sky, 8,000 feet beneath him, and Wire saw it ascending from behind a house that blocked his view of the surface. The CIA deliberately misrepresented what they had told the FBI. Its theory was built upon this misrepresentation. That is one reason why the FBI eyewitness reports were kept secret and why no eyewitnesses were allowed to testify at the NTSB hearing in Dec. 1997. The NTSB is now planning to lay everything to rest at a board meeting to discuss its final report on Aug. 22-23.
Eyewitnesses And Investigators Vital
The investigation of the TWA Flight 800 crash should not be ended without the NTSB hearing testimony from the eye-witnesses and the independent investigators who, unlike the FBI, NTSB and CIA, have taken their evidence seriously. The investigators have done invaluable work in analyzing all the evidence available to them and exposing malfeasance on the part of some of the official investigators. Any help they have received from the government was given grudgingly. The Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization (FIRO) obtained radar data last year that had been kept secret for nearly three years. This enabled analysts to disprove the CIA-FBI-NTSB claim that TWA 800 climbed after it blew up. Primary radar data showed that its speed went from 385 knots to 460 knots within ten seconds after the explosion that blew off its nose, proof that it was falling, not climbing.
FIRO announced at the news conference that it had filed suit that day to compel the NTSB and FBI to honor its Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests for the release of more information that has been kept secret for four years. They want radar data for a broader area and for a longer time period. They are seeking information about the origin of the metal that was found in the bodies of many of the victims.
Accuracy in Media is suing the FBI and NTSB to get them to respond to FOIA requests for the identities of all the ships and aircraft that were in the vicinity of the TWA 800 crash site when the plane blew up. The FBI told Congressman James Traficant that it had identified all but one of these vessels and had interviewed their personnel, but it refused to give him any information about them on privacy grounds. That was before the radar data was released that increased the number of unidentified radar targets from four to over thirty. Our FOIA request was made at the end of May. It is now up to the courts to compel the FBI and NTSB to obey the law.
At the news conference, Cmdr. William Donaldson of ARAP, Dr. Thomas Stalcup, chairman of the Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization and James Sanders, author of The Downing of TWA Flight 800 and Altered Evidence, discussed flaws in the official explanation of the crash. Sanders showed photos proving that the FBI altered evidence in the Calverton hangar. Tom Stalcup confirmed this, showing a report by a senior NTSB investigator who saw an FBI agent trying to flatten pieces of the wreckage in the Calverton hangar. Donaldson discussed the flaws in the government’s theory that an explosion in the center-wing fuel tank was the initiating event and his theory that a missile penetrating a fuel tank in the left wing, much of which is missing, was the initiating event.
Marjorie Gross, whose brother died in the crash, appealed to reporters to examine the evidence that the plane was shot down and not just accept the government line. She said she had heard James Kallstrom himself admit he believed a missile caused the crash. A source with close FBI ties has confirmed this.
Reporters and nine TV camera crews packed the room where the news conference was held. Some heeded Mrs. Gross’s appeal to report the evidence. Others weren’t bothered by the government’s dismissal of all eyewitness testimony and its efforts to hide and alter evidence. The national media, with the exception of the Fox News Channel, the Gannett News Service, and ABCNews.com showed no interest in helping eyewitnesses get their stories known.
REMEMBER BILLY DALE
When Independent Counsel Robert W. Ray announced that he was closing down the Travelgate probe and would not seek to indict Hillary Rodham Clinton for perjury, he failed to mention Travelgate’s chief victim, Billy Dale, the former head of the White House travel office. Along with all six of his staff, he was summarily fired without notice and removed from the White House grounds. But that was just the beginning of Billy Dale’s incredible ordeal.
The New York Post and Newsmax.com were the only publications I could find whose stories quoted Billy Dale and reported that he was subjected to groundless prosecution by the Justice Department and a long IRS audit. Billy Dale and his family went through hell thanks to the Clintons, Attorney General Janet Reno, the FBI and the IRS. Hillary’s greatest crime was not perjury, it was trying to send an innocent man to prison to justify having fired him and his staff without cause.
Hillary Helps Harry
Harry Thomasson, one of the Clintons’ Hollywood friends, was angling to get the travel office business for a company in which he had an interest. He spread stories that the career people running the travel office were crooks who had to be replaced. The replacements, of course, were to be people who would make sure that his company got their business. To oblige Thomasson, Hillary pressed for the removal of Dale and his staff.
David Watkins, the assistant to the president for management and administration, was slow to execute her wishes as conveyed through intermediaries. According to a long-hidden memo Watkins sent to Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, he finally got the word directly from Hillary in a phone conversation on Friday, May 14, 1993. He wrote that “she conveyed to me in clear terms her desire for swift and clear action to resolve the situation.”
Watkins discussed this with McLarty the following Monday. His memo says, “We both knew there would be hell to pay if…we failed to take swift and decisive action in conformity with the First Lady’s wishes.” Two days later, the travel office staff was fired. This was not popular with the White House press corps, and reporters were demanding explanations. The FBI had been brought in, but it could not find evidence to support Thomasson’s embezzlement charges. The FBI was reduced to seeking evidence that the Dales were living beyond their means. That was not true either, except that now their legal bills were more than they could afford.
Driven To Desperation
In an interview the day after Bill Clinton gave a 4th of July speech about the governed being the governors in America, Billy Dale told AIM why he was driven to seek a plea bargain. He said that a week before he was to be indicted, his attorney told him, “It’s apparent that the Justice Department wants you to go to jail.” “He explained to me,” Dale said, “that it was going to cost about $450,000 to go to court and defend myself in addition to what I had already put up in legal bills. And that was $450,000 that I didn’t have.
“And I could see my wife sitting across the room from me, and giving up our home and everything else that we had worked 38 years for. I said if they want me to go to jail, go back and tell them that I will go to jail for three months and I will take home confinement for three months, but I will not admit that I stole any money.
“I said I’ll go into court and I’ll tell the judge that I’m guilty, but I’ll go out on the courthouse steps and I’ll tell the press and every American that wants to listen to me that I said that to get this behind me and to save my home for my wife and my family. And he says, ‘You can’t do that, because the judge will jerk you back into court and charge you with perjury so fast that your head will swim and you’ll end up with more jail time.'”
His attorney wrote a letter to the Justice Department proposing this as a plea bargain. It was rejected, and Billy was indicted and tried. The jury took only 20 minutes to find him not guilty, but the Clinton vendetta continued. He was subjected to a three-year IRS audit, which also found nothing wrong.
“Now, look at what they did to Hillary,” Billy told me. “Perjury meant something if I perjured myself, but it doesn’t mean anything for her. I just don’t understand it.” It means that the corruption that started in the White House now infects Robert Ray’s office as well as the Justice Dept., the FBI and the IRS. In overlooking the crimes against Billy Dale, our media show that they can’t connect the dots.
The above was an AIM column about the unjust persecution of Billy Dale based on no evidence but pursued with demoniacal determination because the Clintons were desperate to make it appear that their cruel treatment of Billy Dale and his staff was justified. Hillary escaped prosecution not because of any lack of evidence. Robert Ray didn’t think the evidence was strong enough to persuade a jury to convict her. The Justice Department prosecuted Dale with no evidence.
We received this e-mail from Billy Dale about this column: “Just read your article of last week and wanted to tell you that of all the interviews I have done yours is the first (and only one so far) that told the story exactly as I told it to you. For some reason the others wanted to change certain things or put their own spin on it. Thank you very much for your support and kind words.” — Billy Dale
What You Can Do
Send the enclosed cards or your own cards or letters to Robert J. Hall, the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jerry Ceppos, the News Editor of Knight Ridder Newsapers, and to an editor of your choice.